OSD MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) is to support students with disabilities in their pursuit of equity and excellence in education.The OSD works with FAU faculty and staff to ensure that reasonable accommodations are provided to allow this population of students an equal opportunity to learn in the classroom setting and to have access to all areas of FAU campuses. The OSD fosters student self-advocacy and the development of compensatory skills that support independent learning.
Florida Atlantic University is dedicated to complying with State and Federal regulations involving the rights of students who have disabilities. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides that no otherwise qualified individual in the United States shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 states that a person with a disability is:
- Someone with a physical or mentalimpairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, including (but not limited to) caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating and working or
- Someone who has a record of such an impairment or
- Someone who is regarded as having such an impairment
FAU grants academic accommodations in order to ensure that students with disabilities have an
equal opportunity to attain the same quality of education as other students.
- Accommodations are authorized by OSD only after a thorough examination of the student’s documentation and intake interview with the student.
- Accommodations are determined based on an interactive process between the student and OSD counselor.
- Accommodations are, by necessity, highly individualized and are only granted to students on an “as needed” basis.
- The student is not required to utilize an accommodation authorized by the OSD. However, the student is responsible for keeping OSD staff advised of any major changes involving an accommodation.
- A professor and student may agree to enhance an accommodation authorized by the OSD as long as it is mutually acceptable by both parties.
- The professor should consult with the OSD staff with any particular concerns regarding a student’s accommodations.
TESTING ACCOMMODATION PROCEDURES
- Students who are approved to receive testing accommodations from the OSD must submit a Testing Accommodations Form (TAF) to the OSD with Sections A and B completed at least one week prior to each exam.
- OSD staff or designee will hand deliver the TAF to the professor or department.
- The professor should review Sections A and B for accuracy, then complete Sections C and D .
- Section C informs OSD staff which items the professor allows all students to use for the exam (e.g., calculator, scrap paper, open
- book). OSD students will be allowed to use these materials in addition to any other accommodations already approved by the OSD. The professor should indicate in this section under OTHER any exam requirements such as “must use scantron” or “must use blue book.”
- Section C also requests the professor’s contact information and the amount of time allowed for the class to take the exam. The professor should check off and sign the statement as to whether or not the student has permission to take the exam at a time other than the rest of the class.
- Section D informs OSD staff how the professor wants the completed exam returned. The professor may pick up the exam or OSD staff can hand deliver it to the departmental office.
- The professor should submit the TAF and exam to OSD no later than one business day before the exam is to be administered so OSD staff can make arrangements for the student’s accommodation request (e.g., enlarged print, audio recorded, electronic format).
- If the professor has indicated on the TAF that the completed exam should be returned by OSD staff, the exam will be hand delivered to the departmental office within 24 hours (excluding weekends/holidays) after the student has completed the exam. All exams will be enclosed in a secure envelope and signature confirmation is required upon delivery of the completed exam.
STUDENT'S RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- In order to complete the OSD registration process, it is the responsibility of the student with a disability to self-report functional limitations of the disability as well as effective prior accommodations and to provide the OSD with appropriate written documentation from a licensed professional in the field concerning the specific diagnosis and expected academic limitations, and attend an intake interview with an OSD counselor. If the OSD determines that the self-report or presented documentation is out-dated, incomplete, or vague, it is the responsibility of the student to provide additional documentation that appropriately demonstrates the current existence of a disability.
- It is the student’s responsibility to submit the “OSD Semester Request for Services” form, “Testing Accommodations Form,” “Notetaker Request Form”, and any other appropriate forms to the OSD in a timely manner each semester in order to be guaranteed the appropriate accommodations.
- It is the student’s responsibility to utilize authorized accommodations responsibly and keep in close contact with the OSD personnel. The student is not required to utilize an accommodation authorized by the OSD; however, the student is responsible for keeping the OSD personnel advised of any major changes involving an accommodation.
Students who have a disability are not required to register with the OSD, but are encouraged to do so in order to receive academic accommodations at FAU. Due to the confidential nature of a student’s disability, specific information cannot be released by the OSD to faculty members unless authorized to do so by the student.
The professor may be presented a notetaker announcement to read aloud which requests a volunteer notetaker for a student with a disability. The OSD requests the professor read the announcement verbatim and without mentioning the student’s name . The student(s) volunteering should be sent to the OSD on the campus where the class is held in order to get more information. The volunteer should not be introduced to the student.
FACULTY RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- The student will present each professor two copies of an OSD Letter of Notification each semester attesting to her/his approved accommodations. One copy of the letter is to be completed and signed by the professor and returned to the OSD by the student or professor; the second is for the professor’s records. The signed copy is for record keeping as well as State and Federal data collection purposes.
- On the letter, professors indicate whether exams with accommodations will be administered by the professor or at the OSD. Professors do not have to provide accommodations until they receive an OSD Letter of Notification from the student.
- When volunteer notetaking has been approved by the OSD, the professor is asked to assist the student in obtaining a volunteer notetaker by reading aloud the provided notetaker announcement and/or soliciting a student from the class. The professor should contact the OSD if a notetaker has not volunteered.
- The OSD endorses maintaining academic integrity in the provision of accommodations without fundamentally altering the essential nature of course or degree requirements.
- Faculty are strongly encouraged to include a statement regarding students with disabilities on their syllabus . For example:
“In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), students who require reasonable accommodations due to a disability to properly execute coursework must register with the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD)—in Boca Raton, SU 133 (561-297-3880); in Davie, LA 203 (954-236-1222); or in Jupiter, SR 117 (561-799-8585) —and follow all OSD procedures.”